Took a late call on this one as Rachel sorted out the loan of her dad's car for the night, so we hit the road at 6.30, motoring down to Bristol with the intention to go to this gig, but with a back up plan (Cosmic Rough Riders at the Fleece!) if this was a sell-out. Luckily, we joined a surprisingly long queue and got the last couple of balcony seats, getting in in time to catch first band, the excellently-named local lot Nuclear Fish, who peddled a fairly standard okay-ish guitar rock, including a cover of John Lennon's "Working Class Hero" which went over the heads of most of the Feeder audience, comprised mainly of teenage girls! Did I take a wrong turn and end up at a Hockey International or what?
Anyway, we had My Vitriol to distract us from the squeaky hordes, and tonight's packed-out show was an opportunity to suss out how MV might handle the inevitable step-up to headliner status at this size of venue. I'm pleased to report that the lads (and lass) done great. Appearing onstage in a squall of exciting guitar noise, they immediately burst into primal roar mode with the thrilling "Losing Touch", and kept the foot on the loud pedal throughout. I'm not sure what the squeaking hordes made of their predilection for juxtaposing ethereal guitar shimmering and downright ear-splittingly evil rock, but I bloody loved it, and couldn't help but feel a swell of pride at how great this set was, how much it filled this cavernous venue to bulging point. Titanic single "Always: Your Way" was the highlight, before a tempo changing instrumental finale culminated in vocalist Som howling inarticulately into the mic and laying down the squalls of feedback to which they exited the stage. Their "Folk Song Crisis" perhaps?
Chilled out in the bar before taking our seats for headliners Feeder, passing MV guitarist Seth and having a few congratulatory words on the way. After the titanic noise of MV, Feeder were always onto a loser for me, and the 5 minutes after the lights went out that they kept us waiting for, before taking the stage, was a no-no as well. They gave it a real shot, however, and I confess I enjoyed them tonight. After dodgy tuneless beginnings (and dodgy boiler suits, back at Reading a few years back!) Feeder have evolved into a noisier Stereophonics with better tunes, and the attitude of mid-80's Bono from their obvious heroes and emulatees U2. Recent single "Buck Rogers", appropriating the same insistent guitar riff as the late lamented Julie Dolphin's "Birthday", was a goodie, and I also liked a few of the newies from forthcoming CD "Echo Park", but that was about it. They're OK, loud and fast, and I'd much rather the kids listen to Feeder than Eminem, but I'd prefer more invention and originality. Luckily, though, tonight we got that - in spades - from My Vitriol!